Revealed: the 10 Yorkshire high streets to win share of £95m fund

New Briggate in Leeds is among 10 Yorkshire high streets that will benefit from a £95 million fund to revive historic shopping areas.

Friday, 13th September 2019, 7:48 pm
Shoppers on Briggate in Leeds Picture Gary Longbottom

Ministers said towns and cities including Barnsley, Skipton and Wakefield, will now be able to start spending the cash, which had previously been announced in May.

The total amount bid for in Yorkshire is £15 million, with Scarborough set to receive up to £2 million from the Heritage High Streets fund, to make key repairs to buildings, as well as providing local property owners, and trade people with the opportunity to gain practical heritage skills.

Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan said: “Our nation’s heritage is one of our great calling cards to the world, attracting millions of visitors to beautiful historic buildings that sit at the heart of our communities.

View of the Queens Arcade, Leeds, looking from the Lands Lane entrance down to Briggate in the 1950s/early 1960s Picture: Yorkshire Post Newspapers

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“It is right that we ensure these buildings are preserved for future generations but it is important that we make them work for the modern world.”

Briggate has been at the heart of shopping in Leeds for the 800 years. The shopping mecca was created by Lord of the Manor of Leeds, Maurice Paynel, who in 1207 granted a charter creating the borough of Leeds, a new town.

Even today the burgage plots of the medieval borough can still be seen in the sites of Thornton's Arcade, Queen's Arcade, Regency Court and other buildings.

Trevor Mitchell, Regional Director for Historic England, said it was a “much needed boost” for the historic street.

Castle ward in Scarborough is set to benefit too Picture: Richard Ponter

He said: “Our high streets face many challenges, with some historic buildings underused and down at heel, but with a little investment and imagination they can be transformed into vibrant places that attract new businesses and other new uses.

“Historic high streets have a crucial role to play in delivering economic growth and attractive environments in which we can live, work and play. Historic England is looking forward to working with the local community in Leeds on this exciting historic high street project.”

The Midlands will receive the largest slice of the funds, with £21.1 million going on projects including £2 million for a project in Coventry’s ancient shopping street, The Burges, one of the few areas to survive the bombing in World War Two.

The city will host City of Culture 2021, following Hull which hosted the year long celebration of arts and culture in 2017, and which also gets a share of the money for struggling Whitefriargate.

Whitefriargate in Hull will get a share of the cash Picture: James Hardisty

Selby, Huddersfield, Northallerton and Sowerby Bridge, will also benefit.

The majority of the cash will be spent on essential repairs to historic buildings, develop educational projects to turn the sites into community hubs, and help increase skills shortages in areas like stonemasonry.